'Recycled Beauty' turned out to be a wonderful day! Folks came from all over and several of the inns were reserved bringing alive a regional interest of how common everyday tasks were done back in Appalachian yesteryear.
Recycled Beauty consisted of historic minded individuals who enjoy demonstrating and sharing their talents with other like minded people. There were spinning demonstrations, quilting displays, sheep shearing and the blacksmith was on hand displaying his wares as well. Some crafters were set up to sell their creative goodies too.
The queens of quilting were busy bees all day. Sandy Skidmore confirmed that not once did she have any down time and was pleased with the turnout. She taught the kids how to make jewelry, amongst the many other duties she completed while several other ladies brought quilting materials, finished quilts of all types and they all answered questions for those who were curious while working on new projects. The fabrics were so pretty, and I loved the feed sacks! The room was crowded but I managed to tiptoe around and photograph the gorgeous works of art.
As I made my way up the lane, I couldn't help but smile while I watched families walk hand in hand with their children, people of all ages picnicking, and several children exploring the old buildings. One of my favorite views were two little girls pretending to drive an old antique car while their mom quickly captured their image.
I was in time to see the second sheep shearing demonstration. Belle, the beautiful mother of Downey and Fluff, was due for a 'trim'. A young woman, looking extremely capable, sat Belle down and began clipping. Belle was not really interested in having this done but after a few attempts to escape the loud foreign object gliding so close across her body, she settled in. I heard the frustrated calls of her sweet little lambs and went up to visit them. Was this the first time they were separated? They must have been frightened to be without their mama and continued to call and call. Their bahaaaaa's sounded so forlorn and full of worry. Fluff's was of a higher pitch and not as constant. Finally the deed was done and Belle was returned to her babies. Audy scattered a bit of corn for all of them which quickly disappeared.
Wow, look at Belle now! She doesn't look much bigger than her babies!
Mama, is that you? You look different, are you okay?
Pretty Mary was shorn earlier.
After watching the shearing, I wandered up a ways to see a tent with beautiful yarns and wool. In front were two pots each dangling from a metal tripod over smoldering logs. In one pot wool was boiled with an Osage orange dye and the other was dyed with a purple hue. How interesting to see first hand how wool was colored. Kate McComas is the area's most talented spinner and is very knowledgeable about the process of how the wool is cleaned and prepped for the dying process. She spins her yarns with expert hands as you can see in the pictures. Don't those pretty skeins make you want to learn to knit?
On my way back, I was met with the sweet notes of a violin filling the air with a nostalgic tune, beckoning me towards the large white tent. Nothing is sweeter than a violin or' fiddle' as some would say! I loved the blacksmith and his family's period dress and could not resist taking a photo. The displays were eye catching and the pewter pieces were my favorite.
Some of the crafters were settled in the shade keeping cool under the protective eaves of the new Welcome Center while demonstrating their spinning and sewing. It thrilled me to see a younger generation keeping the old ways alive. I was informed that there are quite a few in our area which is wonderful to know.
Heritage Farm's Way Back Weekend series is truly a special gift for the public. The Perry's and their helpful friends diligently bring the Appalachian ways back to life one Saturday each month with a different theme. The clock ticks backwards while you meander around the farm and it seems as though you gently soak in what it really took to live in this area over a century ago. These celebrations are up front and personal...you can touch the newly sheared wool, hear the animals call, watch delicate fingers spin their magic or stitch bits of fabric into stunning designs. It was awe inspiring to feel the spirit of these present day pioneers subtly educating and welcoming each visitor while explaining their craft. Heritage Farm's 'Way Back Weekends' allow a new appreciation to come forth for the hard working generations long gone. Be sure to visit July 2nd for the 'Youth Festival' celebrating hands on farm fun. I am sure the kids will love it!